Top 5 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Top 5 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo


hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Lion Kali,
and today I’m going to show you my top 5 ways to relieve lumbar stenosis. so let’s
get started. so the first thing we’re gonna do is a
simple knee to chest stretch. so just go ahead and lie down on your back. I like
propping my knees up. that just takes some pressure off of your back and
especially if you have that lumbar stenosis. you want to bring up bring them
up, just to relax that back a little bit. you don’t have to, sometimes people like
to keep one leg down and bring the other one up, but I like to keep them bent.
another big thing is sometimes people grab up here for that knee to chest. if
you have any knee issues, you might want to grab underneath. I just prefer that
because that’s sometimes putting a lot of pressure on your knee joint. so if you
don’t have any problems with your knees that’s fine, but I like to grab
underneath. once you grab underneath, just bring that knee up towards your chest as
far as you comfortably can. sometimes people have a little pain in the groin
area, so if you have some pain while doing that, just don’t pull up quite as
hard. just go to comfort level. you should feel a nice gentle stretch in your low
back with this and this just kind of helps open up those spaces and takes the
pressure off of those nerves coming out of the canals of the spine. so you want
to hold this for about 30 seconds, and I would definitely do both sides so
switching is the best for me. if you want to do them all on one side and then
switch, you can, but I like alternating back and forth so one has a little bit
of a break. so 30 seconds, three times on each side. so the next one is going to be
a glute stretch. a lot of times with that lumbar stenosis, if you have tight gluts
that puts a lot of pressure on the spine and again if there’s pressure there that
makes those little canals were the openings with those nerves going through
smaller, and then it presses on those nerves, and that’s what causes a lot of
the pain. so a simple glute stretch, the easiest one is probably just doing the
figure four stretch. if you have a hard time doing it this way, you can do it
seated in a chair, but the side that you want to stretch you’re going to cross it
over. or the other just the top of the knee
right there. and so it looks like a figure four. if you’re looking down
that’s why it’s called a figure four stretch. so you can do this a couple
different ways. you want to really try and keep your back straight if you can.
some people kind of curl up like this, but if you’re curling your back, you’re
not really getting a stretch, and if you have to notice this even though the the
bending sometimes gives it relief you don’t want to do an extreme bending
motion. so you can either keep your back straight and lean forward like that to
get a stretch, and I’m feeling a nice stretch right through there. or you can
stay in one spot keeping that back straight and then slide your heel up
this way, and that will give you a big stretch as well. so this is another one
where it’s thirty Seconds. I would do them on each side just like we talked
about. so switching in between and doing thirty seconds on each side. so either
again you can lean forward with your back straight or you can slide that heel
up to get that stretch, and again that stretch should be comfortable it
shouldn’t be painful. just some tension and some pressure on
it. so then the next one’s going to be kind of a combination move. we’re just
gonna start off with a pelvic tilt, but we’re gonna take it all the way into a
dead bug exercise. but the the pelvic tilt is how you start. so you really want
to master the pelvic tilt first. and all that is is basically it’s like it sounds.
you want to take your pelvis and tilt it. so when I’m doing a pelvic tilt, this
little curve in my back I want to flatten it out towards the floor, or the
bed, or the couch. you don’t have to get down on the floor. if you’re having a lot
of pain, it’s hard to get up off the floor, you can do this on your bed or on
the couch, but the firmer the better. when you’re doing that pelvic tilt, you want
to use your core and your pelvic muscles to do this. you don’t want to use your
legs. so if you’re kind of bringing your bottom up like this, I’m pushing with my
gluts and my hamstrings, that’s not what you want. to help with that lumbar
stenosis is to help the strengthening of the core, you want to use your core
muscles to flatten it out. a lot of times I’ll tell my patients it’s like you’re
fake laughing. like have you gone your your core tightens up and that’s
what you want. you want it you want to feel those muscles contracting. so just
holding it for about three to five seconds, and then relaxing. once you have
that pelvic tilt down and you feel like you’re doing a good job not using your
legs anymore, then you’re going to go into the dead bug. and the reason that
you don’t want to use your legs to hold that tilt is because now you’re gonna
add some components and while you’re holding that tilt. so I’m going to get
myself in that pelvic tilt, and then I’m gonna take one leg and just lift it up a
little bit off the ground. I don’t have to bring it all the way up, I’m just
trying to keep that tilt the whole time. I’m lifting the leg and then when I lift
the leg I’m gonna take my opposite arm and bring it up. so I’m going up like
this, and then coming back down. so again I’m not pulling my knee all the way up
to my chest, I’m just kind of lifting it up, but I’m trying to keep that tilt the
whole time. and if you do it right it’s a lot harder than it it’s like I can do
you know this, but I’m not holding that tilt. so it’s really all about holding
that tilt and going slow. and then so just gently lifting up lifting the arm
up, getting that cross pattern in your body, and then slowly coming back down
and building up that core strength is really going to help with that lumbar
stenosis. so that since this is kind of a combination move, it’s a little hard to
get figured out. I just do maybe three lifts on each side and then take a break.
if you have to stop in between and reset the tilt, that’s fine. so if I just did
one and then come back down, I can stop and reset that tilt, but if if you can
hold it the whole time, that’s even better.
so then the next exercise is going to be going all the way up into a bridge. so
again where now we’re going to be strengthening the glutes and the
hamstrings. so we’re still doing some strengthening. with bridging you really
want to now use those glutes to hamstrings and kind of drive your knees
forward as you’re lifting up. you want to go one segment of at a time of your back.
you don’t have to stop at each segment, but you don’t want to just come up and
down like this. you don’t want to just use your momentum of your body to do it.
you really want to come up one segment at a time,
drive those knees forward, and then nice and slowly coming back down. so with the
bridging, as long as it feels good, you just want to come to about level. you
don’t want to try and arch your back up. and then as long as it’s not painful, you
can just start off with maybe ten, two sets of ten, a couple times a day. so the
last one that’s going to be getting up and we’re going to get onto all fours or
in quadrupeds. so once you get into this position, again if you can’t get on the
floor, you can do these on your bed. it might be a little squishy, so that might
actually make you work a little bit harder because it’ll be unstable, but you
can definitely do these in the bed. so when you’re in this quadrupeds position, or
on for all fours, you want to try and keep your back again kind of straight.
tighten up that core. so you’re not sagging down like this, you’re not
arching up, you know that’s a pretty straight line. it might not be exact, but
you really want to keep that core nice and tight the whole time. so in this
position, you’re gonna do what we call a bird dog. and so a bird dog is basically
you’re lifting one arm and kicking out the opposite leg. so it’s kind of like
the dead bug, but now you’re having to do a little more stability of your whole
body. so if you want to just start with lifting out your arms, straightening them
out, you can do that. just to kind of practice a little bit. you can also then
just kick your leg out, but the goal especially when you’re doing the leg
kick is not to lean over and kick like that. you want your back to stay flat
that whole time. like if I had a glass of water on my back, I’m trying not to make
that glass of water fall. so once you have those two pretty much mastered, then
you put it together where you’re putting one arm out and the opposite leg out. and
really just nice try and control it. again imagine that you have that Cup on
your back and if you’re going fast, you’re probably going to spill it. so
since this one’s a little bit tougher, you definitely want to just start off
with maybe two on each side. see how you feel, and then do that a couple times a
day. and you can progress from there. so those
are my top five ways to relieve lumbar stenosis. if you’d like to help support
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you feel better soon.